Dining room buffet makeover DIY

Our dining room has just had a monster makeover.  Simply by swapping out and updating a piece of furniture!  It’s like a decor miracle or something.  Oh annnnnnd a lot of hard work:)

Remember the dining room hutch?


I loved it.  And I also didn’t love it.  It had lots of storage, which was nice.  But it was almost too much storage.  The top portion just kept accumulating clutter, which is a no no for me.  Or I’m trying to make it a no no.  I’m getting better.  Except with shoes.

Anyhooooo….it wasn’t working for me.  And around the same time that decision was arrived at, my parents sold their house.  The house we moved into when I was in grade six.  Which is why there are still Corey Haim posters in my hideout there.  They were ripped out of Teen Beat.  #ohthememories

They’ve bought a condo and so being a ruthless DIYer I called DIBS! on the dining room buffet.  Which I knew could be made into something awesome after spying some serious inspiration.

After my mother and I managed to lug the unit out of their house and into my car (get outta my dreams! get into my car…sing with me!), the buffet made its way to our house.  And I worried I was taking on a job I couldn’t handle.  This was a biggie.

buffet makeover via @heathernheels

And that’s why I did the bar cart first.  I wanted to practice.

Normally I’m a jump in with both feet kinda gal, but for this I really wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing so I didn’t end up with a super ugly buffet.

Because this was my inspiration.  Thank you Sarah Richardson for setting my DIY bar higher than ever before.  I spied it one morning and instantly KNEW that’s was the look I was after.


After removing all the hardware, I got to work sanding the bananas out of it.  I started with 60 grit paper to really strip the sucker down, doing the detail work by hand and the rest with my hand sander.  I then used a 120 grit paper to prep for priming, and in between each of the two coats of primer.






Once I was ready for painting, I gave it another quick sand and then applied three coats of furniture paint using a foam roller.  I let each coat dry overnight and gave each a light sanding (followed by a clean with a damp cloth) before the next coat was applied.

Don’t you just luuuuurve the colour? It’s a PARA Canadian Heritage colour called Roblin’s Mill.  It’s the perfect greige – not quite grey, not beige, just perfect.  And looks so lovely with the polished up brass hardware.  Which btw was a giant pain the rear –  honestly, it was easier sanding the whole unit down than it was to shine up that brass. I don’t joke.  It was totally worth it though.  So shiny and pretty.


Finally, I sealed that sucker right up using a clear protective coating – three full coats on the top (sanding with 220 grit in between each coat), and two on the rest.  I figured the top is going to get the most abuse, which is why I went with three coats.  Waiting 24 hours before I could finally put stuff on top was AGONIZING.


I’m so pleased.


I also love that I can use the top and wall above to decorate, entertain, serve food, and SO MUCH MORE! I turned two old windows we had into mirrors-ish with Krylon’s Looking Glass spray (which is SUCH FUN!) and popped them above it to offer some sparkle from the chandelier, along with some candelabras.

I like how simple and neutral it is, allowing me to use the whole space as a neutral backdrop for holiday decor, food, and all my dishes.  Yay dishes!


Update: Check out the updated gallery wall of old windows HERE.

gallery wall of old windows turned into mirrors DIY


Products Used:


Disclosure: As you know I am SO PLEASED to have been chosen as one of this year’s Para Paints #ParaBlogCrew members.  Para provides me with all the paint a girl can use (AWESOME!), however does not compensate me financially.  I love their paints and am delighted to fill my house with their amazing colours:) 


  1. by Julia at Home on 129 Acres on September 15, 2015  12:47 pm Reply

    That buffet looks so awesome! The brass, the grey, your patience all the way through resulted in a really beautiful piece. Good job!

    • by Heather on September 15, 2015  1:40 pm Reply

      thanks so much Julia:) the patience was the hardest part, LOL!

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  3. by Lorna Cairns on October 14, 2015  9:16 am Reply

    Hi, your SIL raved about the amazing job you did on the buffet. It looks wonderful. I am interested in all the details about tools and method. Is it possible to see a video of the live show that you did on Periscope? I need to be very clear about the sanding. When you say "quick" or "light" sand do you mean that only the flat surfaces need to be sanded? (It would seem that if you were getting into every crack and crevice it wouldn't be "quick".) Did you use a store bought brass cleaner or a DIY home recipe? What kind of finish does the cabinet and furniture paint have? Finally, please explain about the Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish. Is that a spray? What finish does it have? Did you use it on the surface of the entire piece?

    The reason that I am asking is that I just bought a very large armoire (tall and wide) that we are going to be using as a very much needed coat closet. Our 50's era ranch house does not have a foyer or closet. I'm not sure whether the armoire will stand against a wall or at right angles to the wall. I love it because it has plain shaker style doors and panels. It is very simple and very old. It is not "fine furniture". It is currently stained a very dark brown with a few layers of some sort of bumpy varnish. Because of its size I want to paint it a light colour so that it doesn't dominate the room. One thing that I had thought of was to paint it the same colour as the walls which are a very light grey. Or would it be better to use the same colour in a slightly darker tone? The trim in the house is cloud white. We will always have an eclectic mix of painted and natural wood furniture because my husband loves natural wood in any stain and I like painted pieces. Therefore each piece of furniture needs to hold its own and will not actually "match". That works for me. Thanks!

    • by Heather on October 17, 2015  1:29 pm Reply

      Hi Lorna:) In terms of sanding, the entire unit (every nook and cranny that was being painted) was sanded down. The first sanding was a good, hard, rough sanding with heavy grit paper to remove all stain etc. The final sanding before paint was with a finer grit sandpaper to ensure the entire unit was smooth. I also hand sanded the entire unit down between each coat of paint - light enough to not remove paint, but enough that any bumps or dust was removed. I opted to only MinWax the top of this unit, but for an armoir you should do the whole thing. I used the paint on MinWax - there are great Youtube Videos showing how to apply it. The colour I used on this was a nice complimentary neutral to the walls and trim (a bright white and a peachy white). Painting the same colour as the walls, or a shade lighter or darker would be lovely. Especially if you add really fabulous hardware. Good luck!!

  4. by Kimberlie Robert on October 27, 2015  5:05 pm Reply

    Yes, I love the colour! You did a beautiful job with it. Bravo Heather.

    • by Heather on October 28, 2015  10:13 am Reply

      Thank you so much Kim!:)

    • by Heather on September 19, 2016  8:16 am Reply

      Thanks so much Kayla:) Still one of my favourite projects!

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